Review: After releases from the likes of Myles Serge and Hakim Murphy, Mentha now turns to STK (also known as Stekke) for some sinister minimalist tackle from the dark side. "Something Is Raw" creeps along on a bed of grumbling drone as pin-prick percussion punctuates the gloom, and then "What Is Back" drops the bed of noise for an eerily sparse groover sure to unsettle the nerves of any listener. After all those subtleties, Gary Romalis does a damn fine job of edging a little more meat onto the bones of "What Is Back" without losing the vibe of the EP. With punchy yet muted drums and lashings of atmosphere, his remix makes the perfect counterpoint to STK's uneasy reductions.
Review: We Play The Music We Love is an Italian and Uk based party that after 7 years of activity has decided to start with its own vinyl only label. The first release comes from one of the founders and resident DJ of the collective: RILLS. He clearly stamping his mark on the label with two solid tracks to launch things with some claut.
The two original tracks, one featuring Sinderesi, explore some dubby house territory with mesmerising chords that will be appreciated on any demanding dancefloor.
The additional remix is from the producer of the moment: Samuel Andre Madsen a.k.a. S.A.M. (Oscillat, Delaphine, Mandar, Fathers and Sons).
Review: SH2000, a mystery artist whose been busy keeping himself under the radar, returns to Volking Music with another EP (check the guy's Ethereal Sound release for a true lesson in deepness!) and it's two tracks of utter symphonic beauty. "Track 1" releases a steady, driving kick beneath airy, delayed sonics and dreamy melodies, while on the flip, "Track 2" heads into total abstraction thanks to a starry landscape of atmospherics gliding left, right and centre without the help of any beat or bassline. Breathtaking excursions into the ether.
Review: The Unblock label hits its seventh release with a split EP featuring rising talents Tato and Tijn. The sound on the 12" fits right in with the previous transmissions from Tuccillo, Tomoki Tamura and more besides, taking a quirky approach to stripped down house and techno dynamics to create intriguing party fodder for inquisitive dancers. Tato's "Estic" does a wondrous job of twisting up tribal percussion with a snaking minimal groove, while "Lusyourmaind" brings a cheeky housey shuffle to the proceedings while keeping things a little mysterious in the same breath. Tijn's "Stranger Things" is a light and airy minimal house jam that contrasts neatly with the hook running through the centre of "Piano Tool".
Review: Alex Font has many strings to his bow, not least running the excellent Acme label, and here he is on one of his other ventures, Third Stream. With improvisation placed at the forefront of the creative process, Font turns out functional club tracks with curious kinks and moments of intrigue worked into the structure. "Onda Tropical" is definitely DJ friendly with its insistent percussive framework, but there are interesting diversions, fills and edits peppered throughout. "Musica Moderna (CDS Tribute)" meanwhile rolls on a more consistent groove, with a more organic set of drums pitched right at the heart of a long and winding DJ set.
Review: REPRESS ALERT: After launching Brush & Broom with two solo releases, maverick German producer Kalbata keeps his followers guessing yet again with this collaborative release with the equally unpredictable Maayan Nidam. "The Town" is a surefire party starter made up of catchy bleep lines, quivering rhythmic flashes and lots of shimmering FX sends that suggest this was a live jam from two talented producers locked in the groove. "Chrome Moon" takes a deeper, more meditative approach without losing those heavy echo chamber washes, where the spring reverb and buckwild delay feedback rein supreme. Wonderful, free-tripping results from an unexpected meeting of minds.
Review: Moca skirted around the house music underground back at the turn of the century, never quite finding fame but over the years amassing the cult status that comes with highly sought-after records. Now this mysterious producer makes their return with a fresh two-tracker that builds on the legacy of the old records while offering something new. The A side is given over to "Baku," a lean, tracky jam that comes to life with some mellow chords pitched directly at the warm up. On the B side "Return" keeps the same principles of stripped-back beats at the heart of the matter, but makes great use of an arpeggiating synth to sprinkle some colour across the track.
Review: Having regularly appeared on Junk Yard Connections and Banoffee Pies over the years, Adam Stromstedt has plenty going on, but he's also got the time and space for his own Lyssna label, and he returns with his first solo EP on the label. It's an accomplished record, mining the vibe of ambient techno and channeling it into contemporary production with soul-stirring results. "TST142" is a mellow groover with a trancey undercurrent, while "Reptile Boogie" swerves into blissed out electro for lazy days. "Green Room Therapy" places plaintive keys at the front of the mix and channels a little of Floating Points' magic, and then "Split Tongue" offers up the most overtly club-minded jam on the 12".
The Man From Another Place (Timothy J Fairplay remix)
The Man From Another Place (Cottam remix)
Review: Hailing from sunny Los Angeles, Plastic Love Records kicks off our first release with an EP from label co-boss Jimmy Maheras. Maheras made his debut in 2011 with his Space Jam EP on the Crosstown Rebels edit sub-label, Rebellion. Since then he's released remixes and singles on Strainjjur, Riff Raff, Supernature, and Left'd.
Maheras's two original tracks showcase his depth with The Man From Another Place being squarely aimed at the big room dance floor and the second track, Arecibo, bringing a little Kraftwerkesque funk. We've commissioned Timothy J Fairplay (Crimes Of The Future) and Cottam (Aus Music / Ruff Draft) for two very unique remixes. Fairplay crunches down the original melody and throws it over the famed amen break to give TMFAP a hands in air late night feel while Cottam's remix brings the dreamy melody closer to acid with storming late night kick ready to knock down a wall.
Review: After a quiet 2016 thus far Och's Autoreply label is finally back in action with a frankly fantastic selection of workouts from Mark Broom. In keeping with the style Broom has been exercising in new Perbec jams with Baby Ford, this is more restrained than the muscular techno Broom can also be known for. Instead, you get expressive, satisfying house tracks such as "18.2" and the neatly pumping "10" with its killer array of synths to satisfy the dancefloor and the mind in equal measure. Avoiding unnecessary fireworks in favour of perfectly chosen and shaped elements, this is a glittering demonstration of Broom's cool-headed approach in the studio.
Review: Having just recently dropped some fresh wares on the Waxing Gibbous 12", London-based production duo OdD return their attention to their Tapes Of Old label and the pursuit or archival material from the vaults. Quite how far back these dusted down gems reach is unclear, but it hardly matters - what's important is whether they bang, and these tracks certainly do that. "Oops" is a pumped up and muscular roller that places all the emphasis on percussion with a tech house tendency. "Abhorrent" is a more introverted affair that explores intricate threads of synth expression in between a dubbed out set of drums, and then "I'm Complete" finishes the record off with a cool, calm and collected trip through the minimal undergrowth.
Review: London's Toi Toi Musik returns, with Voightmann & Co. bringing the minimal funk again after some great EP's by German legend Audio Werner and the mighty Ion Ludwig. It's now over to Cologne's David Joseph (Assemble Music/Finest Hour) who takes it deep into the afterhours on the 'Tape 3' EP. The first side features a couple of deep and lo-slung numbers on the soulful tip - from the hypnotic and dusted down loops on the title track and the sexy and emotive Moodymann influence of "Secret". On the flip, the raw and jackin' "Tape 2" sees him do his best impression of early DBX, while "Tape 3" channels the equally classic vibes from early Chicago - complete with an infectious Juno bassline.
Review: The Untold Stories: Protagonist Series. Records dedicated to the stories of some venerable but unsung historical figures. The first of the Protagonist Series was created by Sil, and gives a glimpse into the spirit of the first such figure: Tadeush Konrad. Sil, the pseudonym of Kirill Sylantev, who is more widely known for his work in the duo Easy Changes, now begins solo productions. For the UNTLDPRO series his work dedicated to Tadeush Konrad is of confident vibe, with much swing and rich with soulful flashes from times past. This work is then remixed by Ztrl and Hubble. First comes the Ztrl remix, with energetic bass and a wealth of tones interrelating to great hypnotic effect. Then on the B-side Hubble's remix, an extended work, a floating journey of warm organic sounds, concludes the story and the spirit of Tadeush Konrad.
Review: Romanian producer Iuly.B has been turning out his wares on all the right labels, from Visionquest and Claque Musique to Memoria and Fuse London, and now he's been tapped up by Burnski's Constant Sound label to unfurl a vision of minimal house in 2018. At this stage the influence of early deep techno is as powerful as any kind of modern stripped down house sound, and that comes through in abundance on the shimmering, ambient-tinged "Spaceport". "Dynamics" maintains the celestial trajectory of the record, but with a more looped up, bleep-led approach, while "Meditate" draws upon some of the more familiar tropes of minimal house. "Spherical" finishes the EP off with another set of ethereal pad tones and a crisp, snaking beat for adventurous dancefloor trippers.
Review: Lustwerk Music presents a mysterious new entity known simply as The Fock. With little to no background information, this record stakes its own claim within the Galcher-verse by offering up a range of mixes of "Shat Pop." The "Saldes Mix" is a proper immersion heater of cerebral techno, while the nervy, stomping "Flood1 Remix" is credited to White Material regular Young Male. The "Electro Mix" has a squelchy, boogie-inflected palette offset by woozy atmospherics, and the "Ambient Mix" unsurprisingly does away with the drums and drifts in limbo with a disembodied tannoy announcement for company.
Review: Modelmaker is a new London label from the collective minds of Dan Berkson and James What. The esteemed house duo has long been garnishing a range of international imprints with their inventive analogue house and techno sounds, but now they are focussing on their own outlet. Initially launching with a couple of self penned EPs, release number three will be the pair's long-time-in-the-making debut album, and after that a considered selection of other talents will join the ranks as the label pushes on. Always primarily focussed on machine made, texturally rich house and techno, each release will come with unique artwork based on works from What's great grandfather, Conrad Felixmuller, who was a well known German expressionist.
Review: Senida, Strobelight's second release, is a reprisal by the well seasoned and acclaimed producer Ruxpin under the alias Den Nard Husher and is his first ep under the alias since his 1999 2x12 "Nard's Groove" on Thule. The diverse selections of this ep are thunderous yet warm and emotive and illustrate the styles on the NY based label Strobelight Network.
Review: Dahlback again in effect on his new second home, K2 out of Cologne. "Hearki" envelops you in a rotund bass drum, splashed with effects, nagging groove and delicately spotted with small percussive effects, deadly in the details. Watch out for the obliterated middle section as well, like a shoot out in an arcade, real horror show man. "Raido" flies a little too close to the big sun called preset for our tastes, but the choogling "Sailjo" rounds up and offers a necessary dry aftertaste to the aural palette, very new-Balearic, very good. Usual big stuff from Dahlback.
Review: Having largely operated on an autonomous self-release basis up to this point, Outstrip make a sturdy connection with the Dogmatik empire and serve up some of their crucial minimal house wares for all to behold. "A1" is a shimmering treat of a cut with just the right amount of colour bleeding in between the drums, while "NeproEP" strips things back to a raw, functional core. "Peremay" has an ultra-minimal, ever so slightly dubby vibe to it, while "Rastafara" keeps things as lean as possible as well. This is a record that does a sterling job of demonstrating how less can indeed be more.
Review: Can anyone nail a slender, cheeky groove like Lil'Mark? Judging by his track record on Classic, Apollo and more, we'd argue surely not, and this EP on Nicetraxuk is further fuel for the fire. "Inevtiable" kicks things off with a catchy, bouncy bassline and tightly shuffled drums that tell you you're in vintage Lil'Mark territory, while "Be Afraid" gets into a slightly spookier headspace without losing that infectious funk. "F_ It" has all kinds of playful rubbery horn sounds pinging around the minimal beat, and then "Itaapella" gives you the heavily processed vocals from the track to get creative with.
Review: Ekkohaus is no stranger to the house scene!! You can hear his intelligent, funktifying rhythms and grooves on imprints like Morris Audio, 2020 Vision, Circus Company, Flumo, Eklo, Mule Electronique, Brut, Moon Harbour, Holic Trax, Claap, Gruuv, Hudd Traxx, Diaphan Music and now MixxRecords!! We welcome the Greek native with open arms...
This special 10" purple colored vinyl is most appropriate as for the entitled "A" side is called "Purple Divine" and divine it is!! Playful percussion and drum-work along with a simplistic, melodic bass groove keeps you in hypnosis just longing for more!
You'll find a more jacked-up and jazzed up pump on the "B" side with "Ordinary People". DEFINITELY a house banger!!
Review: Sensoramic is a new label on a mission of sensory expansion. For the debut release the UK based imprint drafts new producer Karousel to deliver two cuts of machine driven house. S.A.M., the Danish Oscillat/Delaphine favourite appears on the remix fresh from delivering a slew of killer originals and remixes as well as his most recent Mandar collaboration with Lazare Hoche and Malin Genie. On this Reshape, he is at his most sublime best delivering an emotive retake on the original that stretches heady organs and melodies alongside a beat that refuses to let up.
Review: REPRESS ALERT: This return of Ferox records sees an enthusiastic response from all. The label has forthcoming releases from many original Ferox artists and some new recruits and collaborations along the way. This, the first release in 5 years, sees label head-honcho Russ Gabriel in action under his Too Funk guise. From the first 'Return Of Too Funk EP' to the later 'Hotel Ibis' and Derrick Carter's remix of 'Venus Fly Trap', Russ's Too Funk grooves have been jacking dance floors on both sides of the Atlantic since 1995. This latest offering, 'Phase 3', is a 45 rpm two tracker of House goodness only available on vinyl. No clear favourite has emerged from the two sides, among the selective few that have heard it. Like much of the wealthy Ferox catalogue before it, this is proper House Music with an electric twinge.
Review: OK EG appears from out of nowhere in a haze of the mellowest ambient techno and downtempo delights for your mind to melt into. "Creek" is a smooth but strident route in, the tidal lilt of the pads dissected by a finely paced beat loop that should find a comfortable home amongst deepest house heads. "Colours" does away with the drums and uses a plaintive sprinkling of keys and delays to create an evocative backdrop for fragile females vocals. "Reef I & II" is the clubbier cut, rolling out over the B side with a looming monosynth bassline and some dub techno inflections making it a smart choice for warm up scenarios especially.
Review: Kreon & Lemos continue their exploration of dubby motifs and crafty beat programming on this latest missive for Equivalence, and at this point it's safe to say anything could be possible from the adventurous Greek duo. Each of the artists has a side across which to express their own vision of "Avatone", starting off with Kreon. The urgency of the funky breakbeat rhythms powering both versions is hard to resist, with Kreon's version ramping up the nagging synth lines in between the drums while Lemos opts for a more meditative refrain around the intricate percussion.
Review: Following previous outings on Blind Box and Half Baked, OddMann strike out on their own with a self-titled label to carry their crafty twists on the minimal house and techno formula. There's quite a tough, old-skool finish to "Track 1" on this no-nonsense 12", tapping up the early UK techno vibe in all its swooning pads and errant bleeps. "Track 2" is more aligned with the clean lines and head-nodding grooves of European minimal, but there's still plenty of space for surreal sound design in between the drums. "Track 3" dials up the swing and gets seriously funky, keeping things stripped back to let the DJ do their thing.
Review: UK label AER returns with a 3 track EP. Back on the controls is British label boss Miles at the helm, giving us a journey of varying textures. After releases on Aesthetic Audio, ART, Ornate amongst others, Miles esteemed reputation for discerning House & Techno both as a DJ & producer ensure this release is another pure piece of artistry. Not one to compromise, Miles delivers yet again. 'Obliquity' is a dub techno slice of hypnosis! Emancipate gives us a beautiful string rendition amongst haunting lead lines, while 'Whispers' goes beyond the deep, down into ethereal emotive territory, giving the full release a nice snapshot spectrum of this mans work. Superb release.